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The Commonwealth of Virginia (IPA: /vɝːˈdʒɪ.njə/) is a South Atlantic state historically considered part of the southern region of the United States of America. Named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen, this commonwealth was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. Virginia was the first part of the Americas to be continuously inhabited by British colonists from its founding as a European colony up to the American Revolution. It included area explored by the 1584 expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh along the coast of North America, and at one time it also included Bermuda (or Virgineola). The London Virginia Company became incorporated as a joint stock company by a proprietary charter drawn up on April 10, 1606. The charter granted lands stretching from approximately the 34th parallel (North Carolina) north to approximately the 45th parallel (New York) and from the Atlantic Ocean westward (although the Third Charter of 1612 extended its boundaries far enough across the Atlantic to incorporate Bermuda, which the company had been in possession of since 1609). The capital is Richmond and the most populous city is Virginia Beach.

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson), exceeded by no other state. Most of the United States' early presidents were from the state. Virginia has also been known as the "Mother of States" (sometimes "Mother States and Statesmen"), because portions of the original Colony subsequently became Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia as well as some portions of Ohio. Additionally, most of what is now Wisconsin and Michigan was also briefly claimed by Virginia during the Revolutionary War.

Issues and Local Organizations

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Initiative, Referendum and Recall


  • Initiative and Referendum Law
    • Currently there is no initiative or referendum available in Virginia. An alternative is Legislative referendum which is possible in all states (click here for list), is when the state legislatures, an elected official, state appointed constitutional revision commission or other government agency or department submits propositions (constitutional amendments, statutes, bond issues, etc.) to the people for their approval or rejection. Every state requires that constitutional amendments proposed by the legislature be submitted to the citizenry via legislative referendum for approval or rejection. Legislative amendments (LA) are possible in Virginia, and are constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature or governmental body. This includes constitutional bond issues and amendments proposed by a constitutional revision commission.(1)
  • History of I & R
  • Campaign Finance Laws
  • Campaign Disclosure Project




Government and City Links

Key Government Officials

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia 6/26/07